This article will discuss why is social media bad for kids and make a few suggestions on how to minimize its negative effects.
It’s not just what you post, but how you post it and how long it stays up that’s a problem.
The use of social media by parents can lead to similar problems to those with regular media, like too much of a good thing, unintended consequences, and overall harm.
In fact, using social media for preschoolers to help them learn things like sharing and the act of compromise is actually a recipe for trouble.
So if you really need to be on social media for your kids, here’s a look at some pros and cons and ways to minimize the latter.
Parents are often annoyed by what their children post on social media, so what’s the harm in a little innocent social media use by preschoolers?
The issues arise when kids, who are just learning how to share, or to compromise, have their posts clogging up Instagram.
Often parents are annoyed when their kids have multiple likes on an Instagram post, but these likes are from friends or family members.
Concerns about too many likes also contribute to the oversharing of kids, as do concerns about why some kids post things they should not or like pictures that are inappropriate.
Adults can worry that their children are too attached to their phones or devices. One survey found that one-third of parents worry that their child’s social media use has harmed their relationship.
But here’s the problem: you can’t put a limit on what your child posts on social media. Children are allowed to share whatever they want, as long as they also say that they are doing so.
The best way to minimize potential harm from social media use is to minimize the risk of getting caught or having your posts held against you.
And because social media has a positive effect, limiting usage can lead to decreased parental access to their children or communication with them.
This is a lose-lose proposition, and there are probably better things for parents to be spending their time doing than picking a fight about the Internet with a toddler.
Suggestions for social media use
While there’s nothing wrong with giving your child a device, it’s possible to limit the content they see. Here are a few tips for doing so:
Make sure your child knows not to post anything you wouldn’t want to be shared with the world.
Get your child to explain how they want to get information. And if they say they want to see pictures or videos, you can tell them it’s fine, but make sure they know you don’t want them posting anything without asking.
Tell your child what you expect from social media use. You can say that you want to see content that is socially responsible, family friendly, positive, and sometimes funny or silly.
Restrict phone use at mealtimes. Children need time to relax and take their minds off of the technology. This is a great opportunity to discuss things like how to be polite, share, and compromise.
Consider posting to a family Instagram account that only contains family photos.
Avoid posting things like a child screaming at their sibling because he or she touched the screen of the iPad.
Talk about the amount of time you spend looking at your phone and whether this is really time for the family to be together. Explain that you’re working on this by limiting your own phone use.
How social media impacts the entire world
First of all, it is very hard to deny the incredibly negative impacts social media has had on our world. Every single aspect of our social, cultural, economic, and political life has been profoundly impacted by it.
The sad truth is that it’s going to be impossible to avoid social media for the rest of our lives.
No longer is it simply about the internet, but also about smartphones. Social media has taken on almost the exact form of a digital life that we now spend most of our time in it.
I recently discovered that more than 50% of teenagers say they spend the majority of their time online using social media apps.
That means that in addition to the typical homework, studying, sleeping, family time, and social life, these kids have to spend up to 10 hours every day “Facebooking”, “Instagramming”, and “Snapchatting”.
These kids have more time to themselves than ever before, but that doesn’t mean they actually have any more time. There are actually more social media apps than ever before, and all of the new ones require the user to share more than ever before.
This leads to more competition for attention than ever before. This creates a culture of envy and envy leads to feeling unattractive and thus less attractive, and the feeling of anxiety that comes with it.
This process is going to be exponentially worse if children get used to sharing their every thought and feeling all day long, constantly losing themselves in this digital world.
No wonder kids are so stressed, anxious, depressed, and lonely. It is not at all surprising that studies show that teenagers today have “significantly higher rates of anxiety and depression than teenagers from previous generations”.